This article is written by Narayani Ganesh. Narayani is a senior editor with The Times of India. She writes on issues concerning the environment, science and technology, travel and tourism, heritage, philosophy, and health. 

The city of skyscrapers surprises NARAYANI GANESH with its Central Park and East River Esplanade

New York City is many things to many people. An important global financial centre and capital of fashion and fad, home to eclectic and traditional museums, shoppers’ paradise, popular setting for film and fiction, centre of research and study and a tourist favourite. Also easy target of terrorists, but endowed with spirit and gumption to bounce back. All these things rolled into one Big…. well, Apple. NYC is a temptation that’s hard to resist.

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This article is written by Srinidhi Hande. Srinidhi is a Business Analyst by profession and a Blogger by passion.

It was evening time when I entered Manhattan area in NY. Got down from train and since my destination appeared to be just 2 streets away, decided to walk. It turned out to be pretty long walk though. No regrets, since it enabled be better explore the place. A Bangladeshi fruit vendor who has made NY his home since 20 years gave me some directions. As the night was lighting up, I came across these two buildings. I couldn’t recognize them.

I didn’t have any maps or GPS, so was following street names and building numbers. On my way to destination, I troubled many people for direction, sometimes just to validate I’m heading in right direction-a security guard, a police officer, a lady bouncer at a pub entrance and few others. Almost all of them helped me the best they could.

All the other countries I’ve been to so far- Chile, Srilanka and Malaysia, I had managed to spot a pet cat and pet it. Couldn’t do that in NY. Also missed clicking photo of legendary yellow taxis in NY.

Below: The crowded and busy city as seen from Empire state building

The underground train network is nice. Cheap, frequent and fast. Taxis take long time to reach the destination, as they need to wait at every intersection if light is red. 3 $ is the minimum fare (2.5 in train for single ride).

Srinidhi Hande

June 3 2012

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The entrance on 5th Avenue offers the most dramatic vantage point of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

During the holiday season, two of New York City’s major draws – the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and ice skating rink – also tend to be the most crowded. To enjoy both without the crush of people they typically attract, it’s going to take some sacrifice and an alarm clock.

Early mornings, by far, provide the best tree viewing opportunities. Every day, from the time the tree is lit at 5:30 am to the time when the sun rises at approximately 7:15 am, there’s a nice window to see the tree’s 30, 000 lights twinkle minus the masses. If darkness is not a prerequisite, the weekday hordes don’t start arriving until about 9:30 am, but then they don’t stop for the next 12 hours. On the weekends, Rockefeller Plaza is mayhem until the tree is turned off at 11:30 pm, providing less opportunities to see the tree glimmer without elbowing your way through the mobs.

The 74ft-tall Norway spruce is located between West 49th and 50th Streets, with the entrance on 5th Avenue offering the easiest access and the most dramatic vantage point. This path also puts you on a direct collision course with the ice skating rink, located at the base of the tree.

The Rockefeller ice skating rink is open from 9 am to 10:30 pm Monday to Thursday, and 8:30 am to midnight Saturday and Sunday. But like the tree, the rink is best enjoyed during the early hours when it first opens to the public. Not only are the crowds smaller, but the ice is also at its smoothest. Due to all the foot traffic and its small size, the surface can get dicey pretty fast, making the actual act of ice skating all the more difficult, especially for amateurs. The rates for adults are $10 for skate rentals and a $21 entrance fee during the holiday season.

For those less concerned about costs and ice quality, the rink does offer a pricey alternative: pay $75 per person (includes admission and skates) and you’ll be able to skip the line to get on the ice. This option is only available via an online reservation system before you arrive, assuming the slots aren’t sold out.

If you don’t want to be confined to Rockefeller Center’s smallish arena, there are two cheaper options within walking distance: the iconic Wollman Rink in Central Park and the festively reoccurring Citi Pond in Bryant Park. Though larger in size, both of these rinks also fill up pretty fast, so if you are going to skate there, treat it like Rockefeller Center and plan on arriving about half an hour before they open. Otherwise, your day on the ice will end up feeling a lot less like skating and a lot more like roller derby.

Bucky Turco

2 Dec 2011

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The writer of this article Sandeep Gupta is a Delhi based professional writer who specializes in writing about luxury, budget travel, destination overview, travel tips

There are several buildings and important places in New York City famous for their haunted history. From Ghosts shaking hands to jumping off the building these Haunted places in New York City have plenty of paranormal activity to explore.

Algonquin Hotel – Algonquin Hotel is New York City is famous for the ghosts of the “Vicious Circle”. During 1920s this hotel was the meeting spot of the “Vicious Circle” which was a group of writers, actors and playwrights. This group came daily to the hotel for 8 years. There were something in this hotel that they liked so much that despite being dead they still visit this hotel. Several guests have seen their spirit walking through the bar and bedroom. So if haunted places fascinates you then do stay in the Algonquin Hotel on your next visit to Big Apple.
Chelsea Hotel – The famous Chelsea hotel of New York also has a long history of paranormal activities. Janis Joplin once said that lots of funky things happens in Chelsea. Its indeed true. Several people have seen ghost of Thomas Wolfe at the 8th floor of the hotel. One can also come across Dylar Thomas at Chelsea as well. And if you think that gohsts are limited to hotel’s rooms then think again or you will be forced to think again once you share the elevator with the ghost of Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, the guy suspected to stabbing his girlfriend Nancy Spungen in Room 100.

Belasco Theatre – One of the oldest theatres in NYC has seen several paranormal activities. David Belasco, the buider of the building is often sighted at the theatre. Although his ghost has been very friendly with the actors. He has often interacted with actors by offering handshakes and kudos. Some people have also sighted Blue Lady in the theatre who is believed to be companion of David Belasco.

Empire State Building – One of the tallest buildings in New York is also among the most haunted. During the days
of its construction there has been at least 14 suicides attempts from the observation deck. Spirits of the people who committed suicides are often seen jumping off the buidling.

Manhattan Bistro – Manhattan Bistro has been home to some very weird paranormal activity. People have seen ashtray knocked off tables, bottles flying off, plates being broken on the floors. It is believed that the ghost of Elma Sands is behind all this. In 1799, she was murdered in this very building. Her body has thrown in a well which is now the basement of Manhattan Bistro.

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